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Streamlined consent ups HIV testing rates.

Simplifying consent procedures for HIV tests can expand the numbers of people aware of their HIV status, according to a study published in the June issue of APHA's American Journal of Public Health.

In a study of HIV testing rates in New York after the state streamlined its testing consent procedures in 2005, researcher Coady Wing, MA, BPAPM, found that the new consent process led to a more than 31 percent increase in New York's HIV testing rate. Instead of pre-test counseling procedures, the state's new form includes consent to several HIV-related tests and provides the "basic information that someone would need to know to make a decision about being tested in simple, easy-to-follow language." According to Wing, a PhD student at Syracuse University, streamlining HIV testing consent accounted for 328,000 additional HIV tests in the six months following the policy change.

"It is important as well to recognize that testing rates are not the only outcome relevant to HIV testing policy," Wing wrote. "Informed consent regulations may fulfill an ethical purpose that justifies reductions in HIV testing rates. They may also improve outcomes by preparing patients for test results both medically and socially. There is a need for further research on the effects of informed consent regulations on these issues." (Page 1,087)
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Title Annotation:JOURNAL WATCH: Highlights from the June, July issues of the American Journal of Public Health
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Aug 1, 2009
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